Workbench #7: Leg vise

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Blog entry by yuridichesky posted 03-02-2014 02:02 PM 5455 reads 5 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Leg vise chop Part 7 of Workbench series Part 8: Wagon vise reloaded »

Got sick a little and can’t work in the shop, so it’s time to blog :-)
In total I spent quite a bit time working on leg vise, but to my excuse I had to built most of the parts from scratch except for Jim Ritter’s (aka Boatman53) chain mechanism . I’m more than happy with this chain-driven vise and highly recommend it. Jim, thank you a lot for all your effort to send your kit up here to Russia!
Ok, leg vise implies that there must be something done with the leg to make it work.

Front side of the leg.

Cutting recess for the low-friction plastic washer:

Screw works as some primitive depth gauge to mark depth of the recess. Simple and very useful.

Drilling perfectly centered holes for the screws:


To be honest I’m not sure this low-friction washer affects operation of the vise. But anyway it’s there, and I’m not going to throw it away.

Another part on leg’s front side is a roller to support parallel guide.

Piece by piece:


As you can guess I bolted it through to be dead sure it won’t move. And I think it’s worth the effort ‘cause legs wood (pine) is very soft.
Now quick look on the back side of the leg.

Screw nut and chain sprocket:

Lower chain sprocket and yet another support of parallel guide:

Many people build some additional support for the parallel guide, so I decided to build one as well. Here’s what I came up with:

I have to say it works just nicely:

Clamping surface of the chop stays parallel to workbench front surface unless I apply some serious torque on the wheel.

Lower sprocket brackets are also bolted through, see square nuts cut into the leg above parallel guide slot:

Now it’s time to mount a wheel.

Thrust bearings for the win! The bottom screw of the garter is fake.

When fitting a mounting screw through the main screw I eventually made it too loose, so that I had to dent couple of dots to move the metal and so to make it nice and tight:

Also mounting screw is not perfectly co-axial to the main screw, and it goes into its place only when wheel and the screw are in some certain position. To ease their positioning I dented dots on the wheel and on the screw:

After some time I realized that thrust bearings get too dusty very quickly. To address the issue I made some protecting hoop:

And a wheel handle finally:

I guess this is it. As I already mentioned I’m pretty happy with my leg vise. 20cm/8” of clamping capacity. Nice and smooth in operation. Insanely strong. What else one needs?

Notice piece of blue tape on the parallel guide, it visually marks max opening of the vise.

Thank you for looking!

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

19 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile


12910 posts in 3735 days

#1 posted 03-02-2014 02:16 PM

Yuri, nice build on the leg vise. The bench will be a great asset to your shop.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Sergeich's profile


111 posts in 3080 days

#2 posted 03-02-2014 02:18 PM

Wow. Looks like large handron collider. I am impressed man.

View mikeevens45's profile


68 posts in 2860 days

#3 posted 03-02-2014 02:33 PM

wow ...just wow that’s nice

-- as technology progresses, wood workers seem to regress...all my power tools and my favorite is a chisel and a hand plane

View waho6o9's profile


9098 posts in 3861 days

#4 posted 03-02-2014 02:38 PM

Fine leg vise Yuri!

View Boatman53's profile


1085 posts in 3480 days

#5 posted 03-02-2014 03:05 PM

Excellent writeup Yuri, I love your attention to detail. That is a vise that will survive for a long time, and serve all your needs. I don’t think the blue tape is permanent, I put a bung of contrasting wood in the top of the beam to warn me of it’s max travel.


-- Jim, Mid coast, Maine home of the chain leg vise

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 3247 days

#6 posted 03-02-2014 03:14 PM

Guys, appreciate your kind word, thank you!

Jim, contrasting wood instead of piece of blue tape is a good idea. Gonna steal it.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4435 days

#7 posted 03-02-2014 03:45 PM

Wow Yuri, that looks great, no doubt it works like a dream! Great attention to detail. The side rollers are a brilliant idea.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Mosquito's profile


11363 posts in 3576 days

#8 posted 03-02-2014 04:30 PM

awesome work! I like it

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 3296 days

#9 posted 03-02-2014 05:28 PM

Great detail Yuri. Conrats with some nice hardware on your bench.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View CL810's profile


4198 posts in 4272 days

#10 posted 03-02-2014 05:39 PM

You’re going to love this vise. Great build and craftsmanship as always Yuri!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Boatman53's profile


1085 posts in 3480 days

#11 posted 03-02-2014 06:57 PM

Yuri here is a photo of mine. I couldn’t post it this morning, had to figure out how to reduce the size.

Not needing the pin in the beam is something you won’t even know your missing ‘cause you never had it.

-- Jim, Mid coast, Maine home of the chain leg vise

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 3247 days

#12 posted 03-02-2014 07:16 PM

Thank you everyone!

I know how great your own works are, and your encouragement really makes me feel good!

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 3247 days

#13 posted 03-02-2014 07:21 PM

Yes, Jim, I got it.

At first I was thinking about making some kind of removable stopper on the beam so it wouldn’t allow leg vise to travel beyond some certain position, but then decided to keep it simple and just put visual reference. Your white spot on the beam looks neat and catches the eye easily.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8580 posts in 3266 days

#14 posted 03-03-2014 02:43 AM

Yuri- if I missed it, just refer me…. but where did the wheel, bearing and threads come from?

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Boatman53's profile


1085 posts in 3480 days

#15 posted 03-03-2014 03:10 AM

Red and anyone else, I have a bunch of 3/4” think plastic that could be used for the screw bearing. Just send me a PM and I’ll see what I can do.

-- Jim, Mid coast, Maine home of the chain leg vise

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